Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Fun

Fall is the best time of the year in New England. The leaves are in full bloom right now, there's a country fair every weekend and apple and pumpkin picking opportunities abound. This week we decorated for Halloween and took Cece apple picking. She loved the whole adventure and spent the entire day nibbling on apples. I even found two or three in various hiding spots around the house. Glad I got to them before the real mice did!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Baby #2: 34 Week Bump

Here we are at the end of our 34th week growing baby #2. I'm looking and feeling pretty big these days. I can't decide if I look bigger than I did at this point in my first pregnancy but I think maybe the bump is a bit bigger? Truth is, it's probably pretty close, but this time I feel like my bump is distributed more toward the front of my body. With Cecelia I was wider in the hips. Who knows. Either way, I gained a lot of weight during my first pregnancy and it looks like this time will be no different.

One positive is that I'm not experiencing carpel tunnel syndrome nearly as bad this time around as I did the first time I was pregnant. With Cece, it was nearly debilatating toward the end. I couldn't even hold a pencil! My fingers swell and feel creaky at times but its nothing compared to round one. However, it seems I've traded carpel tunnel for some serious heartburn this time around. It's like I have a fire burning in my chest 24/7. And no Tums or extra milk for me after the bout with my kidney stone. Super.

At my 32 week appointment my doctor actually said I was measuring small and that the baby felt like it could be behind where it should be in size. I almost laughed because I sure didn't feel small and tried not to worry for the two weeks before my next appointment where they did a growth scan (ultrasound) to be sure everything was alright in there. Well, it turns out everything is more than alright...I'm growing a monster. The baby is huge. More specifically, he's estimated to be 6 lbs already and is in the 91% for weight. His head is big and he's measuring two weeks ahead of schedule. Yikes. Now part of me is worried about delivering a 10 lb baby! No wonder I look and feel so big. He feels big too. This kid is not so much a kicker as a pusher. I constantly feel little hands and feet stretching and pushing outward. From the outside it looks like the kid is trying to escape.  It is such a strange feeling and honestly not a very comfortable one either.

Looking back on my 34 week update during my first pregnancy, it sounds like at this point we had already had our baby shower, had the nursery all set up, started birth classes, honed in on names and thought about the babe around the clock. This time? Ha. I'm lucky if I have 10 minutes during my day to think about my pregnancy. Babe doesn't have a name, a room or anything to wear yet. All the baby gear is still up in the attic and our birth plan is just to wing it. Safe to say things are a bit different the second time around!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Putting on a (Swallow) Show - A Night on the River

Each fall, hundreds of thousands of tree swallows gather each night on the lower Connecticut River. Perhaps gather isn't the right term. It's more like a swarm. They dance and mingle as the daylight fades, eventually coming together in a perfectly choreographed dance above a single island then, all at once, they funnel down into the tall reeds to nest for the night. It is incredible. I've blogged about it before. We try to take the boat out to see them every autumn before they migrate south. It's truly the stuff of National Geographic.
This year, we took Cece and my parents. Cece saw the birds last fall, but she was probably too young to appreciate the spectacle. This year, she understood better what she was seeing, but tended to be more interested in devouring the snacks on hand. Maybe next year (third time) will be a charm? Regardless, it was as mind blowing to witness as always, in fact, it just keeps getting better. The only difference is this year, I have terrible pictures and no video because I was too busy trying to keep a very active toddler from climbing out of the boat. If you don't believe me about how amazing this is, check out this recently published article from the New York Times that includes more video clips and even shows what the birds captured leaving the island in the morning on a weather radar loop. It's incredible to see. And if you ever happen to find yourself in southern New England in the early fall, be sure to make a point to visit the swallows. The show begins promptly at sundown and they never miss a performance.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

It's the Weekend

It's been a long week. James has been working in Long Island Monday-Friday for the past three weeks. And that's not all, he still has two more to go. So. Over. It. Being a single parent is hard. Being a very pregnant single parent of a precocious toddler who is sick with her second round of hand, foot and mouth is seriously - the. worst. Poor Cece was a hot mess for most of this week and by the end of it, so was I. Add on top of it a very busy work schedule and almost no sleep and well, it was ugly. Thankfully, James is home for the weekend and Cece is back to herself (just in time for daddy to come home, how convenient!). The weekend outlook includes family time, a birthday party and maybe some boating. Here's a few pics of James and Cece working on the beginnings of their new model train layout. Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cece's "Big Girl" Room

Let me start by saying this project began in February. Yes, February. I realize that was a long time ago but it's really be a two phase project. The first was actually transforming our downstairs guest room into a kid room by removing furniture and changing paint colors. Once that was accomplished, we moved Cece and her crib downstairs from the nursery. We decided it was time for her to transition to her "big kid" space downstairs, which is where she'll stay until she goes to college (and let's face it, probably after). It's much quieter down there during nap time and bed time so we don't feel like we have to tip toe around at night anymore. Plus, we figured the sooner we move her the better. She's farther away from us now and if we waited until she was older to make the transition, it might not go over as well. Turns out, it was a piece of cake. Cece loves her new room. So anyway, these first few pictures are from the first phase of the project. You can tell because Cece is a peanut and there is still snow on the ground.
Daddy's little helper.
The walls are three different shades of mint green.
The second phase, which we just finished, involved setting up a "big girl bed" for her and decorating the room. Cece's still sleeping in her crib for now, but we hope to transition her to a twin bed within the next 6 months or so in order to use the crib for the baby. Eventually, the plan is to have them share the room for a few years until Cece's ready for her own space again. We do have another bedroom and the room we used as a nursery for Cece so there's plenty of room for the kids to have their own space but several friends have told us that their kids prefer to share when they are little so that's the theory we're going with for now. 

Here are the details. The bed frame is actually one of two in a matching set that I found at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $25. We painted them white. I searched for awhile to find the perfect bedding. It has ponies on it. Need I say more?  The quilt at the foot of the bed was made by my friend Suzanne at Cece's birth (also featured in her nursery post). It's priceless.

I bought several wooden birdhouses at a craft store and painted them fun colors. The bird decal was a random Ikea find but it's been a big hit. Cece loves talking to her birds. I made the bunting and the cloud mobile that's hanging over her crib originally for her nursery but seems they seem to work ok in her new space as well.
The glider was originally purchased for the nursery but has a cozy new spot here. I found the print hanging over her crib on Etsy. I made the paper garland in one night, it was surprisingly easy and works to cover the large amount of space on that wall. I made the fleece fox blanket for her crib last winter.  

Cece's play house was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law. Cece loves it (so does Summit) and it's the perfect little spot for reading books. 

Speaking of books, we added a small bookshelf between her door and closet. It's a good thing it's not too big because the contents of it get emptied almost nightly. I can't tell you how many times I've put books back on the shelf. And this is only one of three (Cece) bookshelves in the house. I feel like I'm constantly picking up books!

The last thing we need to do to finish the room is hang clothes racks in the closet. Right now there are two dressers and a laundry rack in there. It's functional but would be nice to tidy up loose ends and finish it off. By the way, the closet is huge. She'll love that when she's a teenager!

So there you have it. It feels good to cross that project off the list, especially before this baby comes. Cece really enjoys her big kid room and it's fun to see her get so excited to spend time in it. Fingers crossed the transition to her big girl bed goes smoothly in the months to come!

And for anyone interested, the specifics:
Bed: second hand from Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Bedding (sheets and quilt): Garnet Hill
Bookshelf, Ottoman, Picture Frames, Bird Decal, Accent Pillows - Ikea
Curtains: Target
Bicycle Print: Etsy
Play house: Pacific Play Tents
Faux Sheepskin: Target
Birdhouses: JoAnn Fabrics (then handpainted)
Bunting, Garland and Mobile: Handmade
Cece's quilt: handmade (fabrics: Birch)
Fleece fox crib blanket: handmade (fabric: JoAnn)
Ottoman cover: Handmade
Lamp: Target
Animal Earth Print:
Mr. & Mrs. Fox: Handmade